Honey is a natural type of food that is widely accepted as very nutritious, delicious and even medicinal. There are various types of honey, based on different regions in the world, and manuka honey is one of them. This is a type of honey found in New Zealand from the bees that usually pollinate in the native bush of manuka. It is said to treat a number of wound infections and a number of various other conditions.
How is Manuka Honey different from the others
In the late 19th century, researchers were able to discover that honey had natural antibacterial properties. Honey helps in protecting against bacterial damage by stimulating the production of some special cells that help in repairing the tissues damaged by infections. It also has anti-inflammatory action that helps in reducing inflammation and pain once applied. However, all honey is not the same as the antibacterial quality in honey depends on the type, how and when it was harvested. There are some types of honey that are more potent than others over 1000 times.
Honey has many compounds, one of which is hydrogen peroxide. A compound that is responsible for the strong antibacterial and antifungal traits of the honey. This, however, is not the only special attribute that honeys have.
Manuka honey, and other types of honey, come with other different components that increase their antibacterial qualities. The other antibacterial component in this honey is the methylglyoxal (MGO), a compound found in other types of honey but in small quantities. MGO is usually formed as a result of dihydroxyacelone, which is found in the manuka flower’s nectar in high concentrations. MGO thus increases the antibacterial power of the honey from manuka.
What is UMF and MGO Ratings
The Unique Manuka Factor or UMF is the only recognized worldwide standard in measuring and identifying the antibacterial quality or strength of Manuka strains. It is usually a guarantee that honey sold meets the special UMF antibacterial property. A UMF rating of 10 is usually the recognized minimum. There are UMF strengths that vary like UMF 10+, UMF12+, UMF15+, UMF 20+. The higher the UMF rating a honey has then the more expensive it gets. Manuka honey is usually packed in jars bearing the UMF registered trademark and has ratings of above UMF 5.
There are other established certified trademarks and measurements of the amazing antibacterial activity found in the New Zealand honey. An example is the MGO or the Methylglyoxal rating. A bottle of Manuka MGO 400 is usually equivalent to UMF 10+ while MGO 800 is also equal to UMF 20+. To better familiarize yourself, read some manuka honey reviews and find out what best fits your diet and your wallet.
Antibacterial Properties of Manuka
In 1981, researchers based at New Zealand University of Waikato found out that Manuka honey has a high level of enzymes than the regular honey. The enzymes then work in creating natural hydrogen peroxide which acts as an antibacterial.
There are some strains that are rich in methylglyoxal, hydrogen peroxide and dihydroxyacetone. This medical trilogy forms the UMF that is a standard to measure and identify the antibacterial strength of the Manuka. UMF Manuka is different from other varieties of Manuka as it contains both natural hydrogen peroxide and UMF antibacterial property that enhances the effectiveness it possesses. The properties are also very stable and cannot be easily destroyed by light, heat and enzymes present in the body like the hydrogen peroxide found in honey.
Manuka honey is usually effective when used atop leg ulcers and wounds as it is effective in promoting healing and fighting infections. It is also used in treating diabetes, reduction of high cholesterol, treatment of cancer, ear, eye, sinus infections and gastrointestinal problems.